John Podesta, former Clinton chief of staff and leader of Obama's transition team, thinks American politics are in a sad state. Actually, he thinks it just plain "sucks," or so he said in an interview with the Financial Times.
Big ticket reform has again shown itself to be an incredibly difficult process, a reality that Podesta was familiar with during the Clinton years when failed attempts to reform the health care system eventually resulted in the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress.
Podesta predicted that the Democratic Party could be in for a similar electoral "massacre" in November 2010.
Despite the gloomy sentiment among Democrats about the current state of health care reform, the founder of the liberal Center for American Progress said he thinks there's still a 50-50 chance of getting it through.
"The worst option among the three is doing nothing, and so they're going to have to figure out which track is viable," Podesta told the Financial Times. "It may mean doing it with only Democratic votes. But if that is such, then so be it."
Though Podesta thinks Obama should be willing to push things through without the cooperation of Republicans, he does give the President a certain degree of credit for his bipartisan attempts. "I think the president is trying to re-engage with Republicans, but, quite frankly, he's not dealing with the party of Lincoln. He's dealing with the party of Palin."
"They lost the narrative," Podesta acknowledged about the Obama Administration. "He's got a terrific cabinet. Use it. Get out into the country and use it."